Summer Statement  

Advisers hopeful on chancellor's £2bn jobs scheme

Advisers hopeful on chancellor's £2bn jobs scheme
Rishi Sunak, chancellor of the exchequer

Advisers have cautiously welcomed the chancellor’s £2bn jobs creation scheme as a “very positive” move for the industry while raising red flags over a potential lack of linked training and capacity for abuse.

In his Summer Statement today (July 8), Rishi Sunak announced a £2bn job creation scheme as part of his attempts to keep the UK economy afloat in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis.

The policy — which aims to help the UK’s young workers find employment in a potentially jobless market — will pay the wages of 16-24 year old at risk of unemployment for six months, essentially creating a free pool of labour for companies.

Mr Sunak said: “We cannot lose this generation, so today I am announcing a Kickstart Scheme... to give people the best possible chance of getting on and getting a job.

"I urge every employer, big or small, national or local, to hire as many 'kickstarters' as possible."

There is no cap on the number of jobs available through the scheme, but businesses must show the jobs are additional roles, at least minimum wage and 25 hours per week.

It must also provide training and support to help the worker find a permanent job.

Employers can apply from next month and young people could be in their new roles from this autumn.

Positive steps

Some advisers thought the industry would welcome the scheme with “open arms”, claiming it could make a “big difference” to recruitment in financial advice.

Alan Chan, director at IFS Wealth and Pensions, said: “The financial services industry will welcome [the scheme] with open arms during these challenging times.

“The six-month period can be used as a probationary period to see if the individual is a good fit. A lot of us are working from home and it’s very difficult to see how you can train someone remotely...but the scheme will provide a testing ground for this and cover most of the cost.”

Joanna Leyden, director at Monument, agreed, adding there were “so many aspects to being a good adviser” which required a lot of resources for firms to provide effective training on, while Tim Morris, IFA at Russell and Co, said it could make a “big difference” to financial advice.

Mr Morris added: “While six months is nowhere near enough time to get diploma-qualified, it should allow them to sit a couple of exams and get a good feel for the role. That could be invaluable to the individual and the firm.”

The first six months was the “hardest time” for taking on a new starter as it was their least productive period, according to Darren Cooke, financial planner at Red Circle Financial Planning, so the scheme could support firms to “get over that hurdle”.

The importance of training

Others in the industry thought the scheme would be better suited for the advice market if it had structured training and apprenticeship linked to the process.